English Writing Exercises for B2 – A formal letter


1. Read the task and the letter below. In which paragraph (A-D) does the writer ___

1   conclude the letter? ____

2   state the reason for writing? ____

3   make suggestions? ____

4   explain the reason for requesting the charity’s presence? ____

You are helping to organise a charity week for your school. You want to invite someone who will give an inspiring talk to the students. Write a letter to the president of a local charity organisation, and suggest what topics the talk should over.

Dear Sir or Madam

[A ]   I am writing to invite you or one of your members to speak to students during our school charity week.

[B ]   Our school is organising a week next term when all the students will do something for charity. We would like to raise as much money as possible. In wonder whether someone from your organisation would 1 consider making a speech to the school on this topic? 2 In view, it would really 3 benefit us all to have someone inspire us before we take on this challenge.

[C ]   I am sure you have your own thoughts on what it would be useful to cover. However, in addition to your own ideas, I would 4 recommend including some advice on how to organise ourselves efficiently. In addition, it would be interesting to know which particular activities and events might be the most successful for raising money. Furthermore, we would appreciate some information on the best ways to advertise what we are doing. Finally, perhaps you could talk to us about the work of your charity. It would be inspiring to hear about how your organisation has 5 contributed to society and made a difference to people’s lives.

[D ]   I hope you will consider request to talk at our school about raising money for charity. 6 I look forward to hearing from you 7 at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully

Chris Adams, Year 13

Show answers

1 D   2 A   3 C   4 B

Writing Strategy

When you write a formal letter:

–  Do not use informal words and phrases.

–  Avoid contractions and adbreviations.

2. Read the Writing Strategy. Match the underlined formal expressions in the letter with the informal ones below.

as soon as possible      be good for      I can’t wait to hear

given      suggest      I think      think about talking

Show answers

1 think about talking   2 I think   3 be good for   4 suggest

5 given   6 I can’t wait to hear   7 as soon as possible

3. Match the underlined informal parts of sentences 1-8 with formal phrases a-h.

I am writing to give you ideas on our project.

Our school recycling week is happening next month.

I want to tell you which topics should be covered.

reason are these.

I hope you like ideas.

I think a talk from you would be very motivating.

I’d like it if you would consider request.

Please write back soon.

as follows

consider recommendations favourably

takes place

put forward

I look forward to hearing from you

f   would like to suggest

I would be grateful

In view,

Show answers

1 d   2 c   3 f   4 a   5 b   6 h   7 g   8 e

Writing Guide

4. Read the task. Then plan your letter.

You are on a committee to organise a careers advice week for your school. You want to invite someone who will give an inspiring talk about the world of work. Write a letter to the manager of the local employment centre, inviting him/her and suggesting useful topics to cover.

1   Why would you like someone to come and talk?



2   Why will it be beneficial for the school and students?



3   What topics would you like to hear about?



Show answers

your own answers

5. Write your letter.